FIFA president Gianni Infantino has accused the West of “hypocrisy” in its reporting about Qatar’s human rights record on the eve of the World Cup.
In a news conference in Doha, Infantino made a passionate defence of Qatar and the tournament.
The Switzerland-born Infantino said that European nations should apologise for acts committed in their own histories, rather than focusing on migrant workers’ issues in Qatar.
“Today I have strong feelings. Today I feel Qatari, I feel Arab, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled, I feel a migrant worker.” said Infantino.
BBC reports that, the event has been overshadowed by issues in Qatar including deaths of migrant workers and treatment of LGBT people.
In February 2021, the Guardian said 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since it won its World Cup bid. The number is based on figures provided by the countries’ embassies in Qatar.
Hosts Qatar will kick off the tournament against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday (16:00 GMT).
Writing by Chinasa Ossai, Editing by Omotola Oguneye